A Savvy Student's Guide to Time Management

"Time Management" is one of those skills that your teachers try to lecture you about at a young age- but of course we all ignored their advice. After all, with weekly assignments, tour schedules were pretty much written out for us. Once you get to university, though, there's no one their to tell you at what point you need to write an essay plan, on what day you should start studying, or how to juggle this all while keeping on top of your laundry and cooking for yourself. It's no easy feat, and I think we all struggle with time management from time to time in adulthood. 

I just finished up my end of term assignments- that is, three 4,000 word essays all due within less than two weeks. Talk about a lovely run-up to Christmas, huh? Don't get me wrong, I'd be miserable all through the holidays if I had to study for exams after Christmas like students down in England. But the holiday season is significantly less fun at university than it was back in school. 

Anyway, these three assignments absolutely had to get done on time. And even with some heavy planning from the outset, it all came down to those final three weeks where it was really a heads-down situation. It's safe to say that all my essays were written with minimal stress and maximum efficiency- plus, I didn't end up in a panicked scramble by the end of it! 

After two and half years at a fairly demanding uni, I think I've finally cracked the code to time management. And today I thought I'd share my top tips to become a master at time management.     

Know where you work best // I'm one of those weird people who does not like the library. Whenever I walk into the library, I can see the stress on everyones faces- whether it's someone who looks bleary eyed, or someone who's teary eyed. I just don't need those kind of negative vibes in my life. So I avoid it. I work better in my flat where there's tea and fuzzy socks and snacks to keep me happy. Find out what works for you (or may what doesn't work) and use it to your advantage.  

Set Daily Goals // I would not have made any progress without setting daily goals. I absolutely lived and died by my word count goals. While we would all like to leisurely write an essay or study for an exam, there's a point where you just need to force yourself to put pen to paper. Without daily goals, you'll just flounder around wondering what exactly what you're meant to do. 

Exercise, even if you feel pressed for time // I went for a four mile run almost every single morning of the period that I was working on my essays. Losing that hour or two to run, do pilates, and shower didn't take away from my essay writing at all; I actually think it made my afternoons of writing more efficient because I had gotten my blood pumping. Whether it's a walk, a run, or just some stretching, you'll feel better (and less like a potato) if you make time for movement during intense study periods. 

Use your friends // Whether it's someone to work side by side with, or someone who you send over your essay to for proofreading and comments, your classmates can be your best resource. They know the material you're looking at, and they'll be open to your ranting. But if you're more the type of person who likes to go at it alone, then that's okay too! 

Know when to walk away // If you walk away with anything from this post, let it be this piece of advice. Staring at your computer screen isn't the same thing as doing work. If it just isn't working out that day, then let it go. Come back to it later. There's no use wasting your time in the library if you'd be much better off getting some much needed sleep. You'll find your groove later, I promise. 

Now that I've given you unsolicited advice, you can master those end of term exams and essays! Oh, and you can also be jealous of me for already being finished (but hey, we all deserve a break!) 

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